‘Orange Is the New Black’ Talks Sex, Love and Women at PaleyFest
Let’s go to Litchfield.
To some disappointment, fans did not get to see any unseen clips of the second season, and the actors were mum on what they could reveal.
But we were able to hear from the new prison mate Vee, played by Lorraine Toussaint, who is headed to Litchfield for season two as the streetwise drug maven who runs children.
“She shakes things up. Nothing is the same because of Vee,” said Laverne Cox.
“She plays and enjoys the game,” Toussaint said. “I had a great deal of fun,” she said with a hint of villainy.
The estrogen-filled panel talked about the role of women on the Netflix series and the conversations this show has sparked.
“It made us dream differently. I remember feeling reverberated from my being. I have never seen that before — that so many women were calling the shots,” said Uzo Aduba, also known as fan favorite Crazy Eyes.
“It’s telling honest people’s stories, there are women out there that are like Taystee,” said Danielle Brooks. “It’s giving voice to those who do not have a voice.”
With an array of characters, whether gay, transgender, black, Hispanic or white, the show addresses many stereotypes regarding diversity, race and sexuality.
“Our focus is on characters and these people as individuals, we talk about them as people we know,” said creator Jenji Kohan. “We don’t approach it as ‘Well, what does the black one do?’ You know these people and you can’t view it as tokenism. You have to see them as people.
“It’s a naturalistic world, in the real world there’s all sizes, colors, and ages and shapes and why should that not be reflected?”
When it comes to sex, “OITNB” is not shy, but Kohan said, “It’s natural, it’s normative, it’s presented as something that is part of everyone’s life.”
The first shot of season one that Taylor Schilling and Laura Prepon had to do together was the shower scene between Piper Chapman and Alex Vause. Prepon recalled the chemistry the two had during the take.
“I trust my costars so much. I know when Taylor and I do crazy stuff, she’s got my back and vice versa.”
USA Today reporter Andrea Mandell moderated the event, and asked about the term “gay for the stay,” sexuality and what the actors want to bring to those themes.
“Granny panties. Titties,” joked Yael Stone. “I think it’s a beautiful story there about comfort, about connection — that’s really what’s happening for us personally and for our characters.”
Prepon was at the center of a small controversy in the Twitterverse, when fans panicked that she might not be in season two due to scheduling conflicts.
“It’s so flattering and amazing because (with) all of our characters, nothing is taboo for Jenji,” she said.
Jason Biggs, Taryn Manning, Michael Harney, Kate Mulgrew, and Natasha Lyonne, were also on the panel. Big Boo, played by Lea DeLaria, made an appearance as she jumped, or attempted to jump, on stage from the crowd causing quite the hysterics from the audience.
After the panel, the cast and other guests rejoined for an after party at Yamashiro in Hollywood.
“Orange Is the New Black” Season 2 premieres June 6 on Netflix.
Pictured above: Michael Harney, Uzo Aduba, Lorraine Toussaint, Laverne Cox, Jason Biggs, Laura Prepon, Yael Stone, Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew, Taryn Manning, Jenji Kohan, Natasha Lyonne, and Danielle Brooks. Pictured below: Lea DeLaria gets a hand as she joins the panel from the audience.